We have all seen the commercials and social media ads telling us to respond to the 2020 US Census. You keep hearing that it’s vital that everyone responds, but if you do not know the purpose of the census, you might be a little reluctant. Not only does the US Census affect the federal government, it impacts every community, even the town of White Pine, TN. Here are some of the ways the US Census benefits the members of our small town.
School-Aged Children and Their Parents
The US Census is how governments determine funding for schools and educational programs. Knowing the number of children who live in a community influences important educational policies and decision-making for the next ten years. Some things that are determined by census results include building new libraries, building new schools, starting programs for preschool children, etc. This is why it is important to count everyone who lives with you, including even your youngest babies. Other programs for school-aged children that are affected by the US Census are:
- The National School Lunch Program, which is a US government program that provides low-income students with free or reduced lunch
- Title 1 grants for schools, which are provided by the US Department of Education to help schools that serve a high percentage of low-income households
- Special state education program grants
- The Head Start Program, which is geared toward low-income preschool children
- Teacher training and related grants
Here in White Pine, TN, our schools and educational programs are dependent on US Census data to get the funding they need. In order for our town to provide your children with the best education possible, all the children in White Pine need to be counted in the 2020 Census.
College Students and Their Parents
The information gathered from the US Census continues to affect students even after they graduate from high school. Both federal and state governments use census results to determine funding for grants to help colleges and their students. For example, Federal Pell Grants are given by the federal government to students who display financial need so that they can pay for college. Other ways census results help college students include showing the need for aid for land grant universities and federal grants for vocational training, which are given to states to improve vocational training in high schools, technical centers, and community colleges. In our town of White Pine, many of our high school graduates go on to receive higher education at the nearby technical schools, community colleges, and universities. If you want there to be enough funding for grants and financial aid to help our college students afford a higher education, then is vital that you respond to the 2020 Census.
Low-Income Community Members
It is important to respond to the US Census because the results influence the creation of and funding for programs to aid low-income individuals and families. For example, according to the US Census Bureau, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (previously known as food stamps) is the second largest federal program reliant upon census statistics. Some other low-income programs that depend on census results are:
- Medicaid program for medical assistance, which constitutes the largest federal program that depends on the US Census
- Job preparation, childcare, and other programs for temporary assistance
- Housing assistance
State and local government entities use data retrieved from the US Census to determine funding for low-income assistance as well. That is why it is so important for everyone to respond to the 2020 Census so that anyone who needs assistance will be able to receive it, including members of the White Pine community.
Seniors Age 65 and Older
The number of people in the United States age 65 and older has grown rapidly over the years. In the year 2000, the number was 35 million, and according to the US Census Bureau’s estimates, the number increased to about 52 million in 2018. With the percentage of the senior population increasing, it is important for federal, state, and local governments to know how many people fall into this category. There are many governmental programs for seniors that depend on census results for funding. Some examples include housing grants for low-income people over age 65 and home weatherization assistance programs. In order for people age 65 and up in White Pine, TN, and across the United States to get the assistance they need, it is vital that everyone complete the US Census.
US Census Bureau Jobs
During the census, the US Census Bureau increases the number of jobs available. If you could use some extra income, you can get a temporary position for the 2020 Census. They offer competitive wages and reimburse field employees for authorized expenses such as mileage. For temporary positions, the hours are flexible, so you can earn extra money around your current schedule. Temporary jobs include census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff. A job for the 2020 Census is a great way to earn additional income and ensure that everyone in our community is counted.
Help the White Pine Community Get Counted
The town of White Pine, TN, relies on funding from the federal and state governments to help keep certain aspects of our community running, such as education, recreation, and transportation. We also want our residents to be able to receive any assistance they need from our local, state, and federal government programs, which are funded based on the results of the US Census. Respond to the 2020 Census so that you, your town, and your fellow residents can get the assistance they need. You can respond to the 2020 Census online, by mail, or by phone.